Types of Child Care

What types of child care are available?

When a family calls in need of child care, our team of Family Engagement Specialists work closely with them to describe the different types of care available and help discover what programs are most appropriate for the family's needs. Quality child care can happen in any setting and it is the choice of the parent as to which type of care is the right fit for their children and family. Types of care include:

Legally License Exempt Family Child Care is legal, unlicensed care being provided in a residential setting. Exempt family child care providers may care for five or fewer children in addition to any children related to the provider. If an exempt family child care provider wishes to care for families who receive assistance in paying for child care through the CCDF voucher program, they must meet the Health & Safety Standards. Health & Safety Standards include, but are not limited to: criminal history checks, drug testing, First Aid/CPR training, fire safety, safe storage of toxic substances, supervision policy, tobacco/substance abuse policy, and a check of the State Central Registry of Abuse and Neglect.

In order to apply for the CCDF Provider Eligibility Standards contact The Consulting Consortium (TCC) at 317-638-7095.

Licensed Family Child Care Homes refer to licensed care provided in a residential setting. Licensed child care providers may care for 12 or fewer children at any one time on the premises. Child/staff ratios for a licensed child care home are:

  • 12:1 if all children are 3 or older
  • 10:1 for mixed ages from birth to school age and no more than three of the children are younger than 16 months old
  • 6:1 if all children are 24 months or younger
  • 4:1 if all children are younger than 16 months

A Licensed Family Child Care Home that has been licensed for at least one (1) year with no inspection or compliance violations may apply for a "Class II" license. A Class II license enables the home to care for up to 16 children at any one time. Child/staff ratios do not change with a Class II license.

A Licensed Family Child Care Home may also care for three or fewer school age children, who would not be included in the licensed capacity, if certain requirements are met.

Child Care Center refers to a licensed facility designed to provide child care in a commercial facility. Child/staff ratios for child care centers are:

  • 4:1 for infants
  • 5:1 for toddlers
  • 5:1 for two year olds
  • 10:1 for three year olds
  • 12:1 for four year olds
  • 15:1 for five year olds
  • 20:1 for school age children

Registered Ministries are child care programs operated by a religious organization. Registered ministries do not have staff/child ratio requirements. Regulations for registered ministries address basic health and safety, fire safety, and sanitation issues. For more information regarding registered ministries, visit the Carefinder web site.

How do I recognize quality child care? One great tool is Paths To QUALITY (PTQ). 

Each level of Paths to QUALITY builds on the foundation of the previous one, resulting in significant quality improvements at each stage and in national accreditation at the highest level, level 4. The system validates early care and education programs for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality and provides incentives and awards for success. To find out more about PTQ and why it should be important to you click here